Pakistani Taliban resort to kidnapping to raise money

October 11th, 2010 - 5:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Oct 11 (IANS) Taliban guerrillas in Pakistan are resorting to kidnapping to raise money and they are now hunting for high-value targets, a media report said Monday.

Daily Times reported that Taliban have changed their strategy in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and have adopted a new approach of abduction for ransom.

The Taliban were now looking for high-value targets and they plan to kidnap VIPs to collect funds for their activities, said security sources.

“Kidnapping for ransom is now a main source of income for the Taliban,” a source was quoted as saying.

Umar Farooq, spokesperson of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Abdullah Aizam Brigade, which operates in Khyber Agency, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of Islamia College University Vice Chancellor Ajmal Khan.

On Sep 7, armed men kidnapped Ajmal from the University of Peshawar campus.

The kidnapping spree began Nov 6, 2009, with the Vice Chancellor of Kohat University of Science and Technology, Lutfullah Kakakhel, being the first one to be abducted. He was recovered after almost six months following a ransom deal with the Taliban group.

Among those who are yet to return include a former deputy commissioner, doctors, other well-off people and children.

The media report said that the lack of interest on the part of the federal and provincial governments in pursuing kidnapping cases have caused concern.

Doctors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are protesting against last week’s kidnapping of their colleague, Intikhab Alam.

Peshawar Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Ijaz Khan said that the situation was better as compared to what it was in the past.

“We have been bringing changes in the security system, securing all routes and ensuring visibility of the force,” he added.

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